Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with co-founder Phillip Huffman from Helpling.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Helpling is the leading global online platform for on-demand home and office services. On the website or the mobile app, customers can book a vetted and insured cleaner in a few clicks. The innovative online service gives people more time to enjoy the nice things in life: family, friends and free time. Helpling was founded by myself, Benedikt Franke and Rocket Internet in January 2014 and has been operating in Australia since September 2014. The company currently has more than 250 employees across 12 countries and offers its service in more than 200 cities globally including Sydney and Melbourne. This makes Helpling the most widely available online marketplace for household services in the world.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Each month we execute a detailed marketing plan comprising a mix of online and offline campaigns. We focus mostly on campaigns with conversions as the primary objective. We believe in our service and we therefore want prospective customers to try it and experience the benefits themselves.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
We have been growing rapidly since we launched. To facilitate demand we are consistently looking for new cleaners. All our cleaners need to have cleaning experience, a clean police record, an ABN and public liability insurance. Our selection process also includes an interview. The rigor and subsequent time required of this process makes it difficult to scale as quickly as we would like.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Here in Australia we are the largest player which allows us to leverage algorithms to more accurate match users with relevant services. We also offer our service at a lower rate than our competitors
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Definitely Tinder. I travel a lot for work and it gets lonely to always be by yourself ;-) On a more serious note I really enjoy the Netflix app.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Do not get lost in the day-to-day activities but make sure on a daily basis that the things you are working on are the things that have maximum positive impact on your business
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